Kevin Patrick Law - May 2019

The Curious Case of the Disappearing Flags AN INSIDE JOB

Learning to Be Grateful

Some Ways to Help Children Appreciate Their Teachers

Theft is a serious matter, made even more grave when the victims are fallen war heroes. Such was the situation that stumped police in Hudson, New York in 2012. The crime was first committed in July of the previous year. Flags had been placed around the graves of soldiers in Cedar Park Cemetery — only to go missing right around Independence Day. Veterans groups and locals were outraged and mystified by the crime. Some worried that a hate group was to blame, as the missing flags had adorned the graves of Jewish soldiers. Veterans worked to replace the flags, one by one, and right the wrong. No culprit was found, and the community moved on — until the following July, when the mystery repeated itself. Like the year before, flags were placed on veterans’ graves in honor of Independence Day, and again, they went missing sometime in the night, this time taken from the graves of African American Civil IWar soldiers. Cemetery caretaker and veteran Vincent Wallace was appalled, as was the rest of his community. “I just can’t comprehend the mindset that would allow someone to do this,” Wallace said. Determined to find out who was to blame, police put up surveillance cameras and recorded the goings-on in the cemetery. As they watched the tapes, sure enough, they saw one of the culprits sitting atop a gravestone with an empty flagpole in front of him. It was a groundhog. Apparently, the wooden flagpoles attract groundhogs, something other groundskeepers have experienced as well. “I’m glad we don’t have someone who has taken it upon themselves to desecrate the stones and the flags in front of them,” said Hudson mayor Bill Hallenbeck. "We can all rest a little easier knowing that it was a critter and not a human defacing our flags, especially those of the veterans,” added Hudson’s police commissioner.

Teacher Appreciation Week runs from May 6–10 this year, and there are plenty of ways students of all ages can thank their educators for everything they do. Being a teacher isn’t an easy job, and the people who make it their profession are passionate about helping kids learn. Depending on how old your child is, they may need a parent’s help in showing their appreciation. Here are a few ways parents and children can appreciate teachers together. THANK-YOU NOTES This gesture is simple and sweet and can be very thoughtful. Telling a teacher what makes them outstanding can often be just as valuable as a gift. Help your child write an appreciative note and then write one yourself. Teachers often have to maintain the happiness of students, administrators, and parents. Your card could relieve some of the stress of that balancing act and let them know that you acknowledge their efforts. A HOMEMADE MEAL Making a homemade meal (or dessert) shows teachers that you went the extra mile to appreciate their hard work. You could make a favorite dish of yours or try to find a new recipe online. Either way, encourage your child to help you with the process so that the meal is truly a gift from both of you. DONATING SCHOOL SUPPLIES Many teachers use their own money to buy school supplies for their classroom. This is just one of the ways teachers go above and beyond on a daily basis, and buying some extra school supplies can help ease that cost. Take your child shopping with you and help them pick out supplies that you know their teacher will appreciate. Your children spend several hours a day with their teachers, so fostering relationships with them is vital. Use this day to help your children understand the importance of teachers, to teach them the power of gratitude, and to encourage them to show respect for everyone who helps them in life.

Turns out Punxsutawney Phil has some very naughty cousins — ones who aren’t subject to the law.

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